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Quick idea for Quora
By Dave Winer on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 11:51 AM.
A picture named coin.jpgQuora just raised $50 million. Quora is a very nicely done piece of software. Almost everyone thinks so. But I also think they're too late. There are already plenty of corporate blogging silos for people to write into. And the demand for them never was that high. So I think it would be interesting, with all their money and nice software, if they tried a pivot. permalink
Here's the idea... permalink
1. Position relative to A simpler more modern, better-designed version. Updated.  permalink
2. If possible release the back-end as open source, so you can complete the picture. If not, start work on that, and make it shine. Make it an app platform that will appeal to developers.  permalink
3. Create a very simple document-oriented API with pub-sub. I recommend OPML because my tools already work with that format.  permalink
4. People can use your web interface to create and edit public documents, with a twist. Users can also provide the URL of a document, and you provide me with an endpoint that I can ping when it updates.  permalink
5. Also support the flipside of the protocol as well. Provide a URL for the document, and are willing to ping a subscriber when it updates. permalink
6. This is recursive. Documents can contain other documents each of which supports this protocol. permalink
Congratulations, you've just participated in the bootstrap of a document-oriented Internet, one where links are rendered in place. No one captures or controls anyone's content. You don't have to export documents, because they never were imported. There are a lot of places we can go from here. And the fallback is Quora doing the same thing it was going to do anyway. Except you've opened the door to lots of developers. The same door, btw, that the big guys have closed.  permalink
This is just a quickie. It doesn't have to be Quora. It could even be Wordpress. But it is a different model from the usual 2012 business model. I think that's a good thing. It's time to develop new models, because the current one is oversubscribed. permalink
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